The Storm of Insurrection
The Mythos of Jundar
The Mythos of Jundar discusses the basic varieties of religious focus that characters commonly encounter, as the well as the basic meaning of alignment for the game.
The Major Religious Churches and Sects Are:
The Synod of Divines
The Nolaron Heresy
The Ornery Rebellion
The Synod of the Divines proclaims deities for every alignment. The basis for this church is that humans need gods to show them the way to live. If the good gods encourage and reward good behavior, the evil gods are thought to threaten the world with devastation, to impress terror on those who fail to live up to expectation. These are found in the Deities of the Pathfinder Chronicles, so you can always use basic pathfinder materials to facilitate your interests in the divine.
The Nolaron Heresy proclaims deities from any alignment, but it proclaims deities as multiple aspects of a uniform or monotheistic god whose real being is utterly indiscernible and only appears in various forms. Players may worship non-Pathfinder gods, but then they tend to fall into the category of the Nolaron Heresy.
The Ornery Rebellion proclaims only good or neutral ideals. They include homebrew deities, clerics who don’t strictly worship as part of the cult of one god so much as venerate an abstract idea or principle, or any unpublished variations on good or neutral deities.
The Fivefold are loosely connected worshipers with a vision of a fallen world. (In their minds, the devastation of evil has already been wrought.) They either wish to placate the evil gods with services, or else find other fundamental, extraplanar beings besides the divines to undo the ‘terraforming’ as it were of the gods. Any cleric viciously opposed to ‘theism’, or wishing to follow evil ideals, or wishing to worship non-divine beings or beings alien to the realm of Jundar might be classified (loosely) as a cleric on the fivefold way.
While the concepts of alignment are (too often) open for debate, I want to loosely lay out some of the concepts as far as it works in the realm of Jundar both for individuals and society.
Lawful—means principles, rules, and order are to be followed as prescribed.
Chaotic—means laws are ideas subject to discretion, application, and interpretation.
Good—the attitude and behaviors that suggest actions should be taken from voluntary desire for good results
Evil—the attitude and behaviors that suggest actions are to be taken for the sake of results, regardless the will of others
Neutrality and Alignment—Neutral is not necessarily an indifference or simple absence of alignment, it can also be an intentional cancellation of becoming good, evil, lawful, or chaotic by not taking sides in the conflicts between good and evil or law and chaos.
Alignment Spectrum, Competition, and Euthyphro and Divine Accidence
Just as the human eye cannot see all wavelengths of light, there are the throes for each kind alignment which are not experienced by mortals in everyday life.
Hence, a good-aligned human city is, compared to a good-aligned planar realm, relatively neutral. Certainly, extraplanar beings can laborious determine practical differences between slightly good and slightly evil, but some of them are less concerned with that difference than others. What seems like a reasonable or tolerable exception to alignment in the material world is simply an exception in extraplanar cognition. Accordingly, while extraplanar entities tend to operate in pure fashion, good places can go to war with one another, evil places can institute good reforms, chaotic places can enforce laws, and lawful places can have plenty of tolerance. Externally, the material world seems like a soup with ingredients that sometimes is made with too much meat, sometimes too many noodles, or veggies or beans, but almost never just meat or just noodles.
There is normally a friendly degree of friction, rivalry, and competition between institutions that nominally pursue the same goals. However, in the material world, entities of the same alignment and even the same deity exist with a certain amount of jealousy, pride, and competition. The preference for power is apparent in all institutions and creatures of the material world, even the most seemingly indifferent, neutral creatures.
Entities in the material world are usually in competition for image and identity as validly representative of certain alignment principles, and this usually prevents one alignment from dominating totally over the others. The evil warlord will be betrayed by his own power-hungry lieutenant, and the good ruler will be accused of shortcomings by his good followers. The measure, therefore, of competition is based on power, not alignment. Among the truly devout (such as paladins) it is expected that they behave in a manner that rises charismatically above these petty intrigues.
Euthyphro and Divine Accidence
This is the question of whether the gods are above alignment or subject to alignment based on their attitude and behavior.
First, for simplicity, the gods are viewed as not needing involvement in the material world. Whether Draco’s pet dog dies or not will not diminish the pure good of the multiverse or mollify the pure evil. In other words, the gods never really intentionally do anything personally, to impact things, because the world is so far beneath their contemplation that it is almost impossible for them to form a definite will with respect to the material world, a place so insignificant and meaningless it might as well be a fictitious story in which they engage their imagination. The minds of the gods are more focused, however, on their own planes of existence, where their powers to affect being can be truly discerned and felt.
Second, the actions of the gods in the world are viewed rather like crumbs falling from the table rather than the actual meal. In some cases, it may be viewed more like a deliberate handing of human food to a pet dog. In extremely rare cases, the gods might actually take a vested interest in the material world, but for the most part this is like a sickness for them. In many noteworthy times, such a ‘sickness’ may involve them wandering around in the world as an avatar or in an aspect, promoting their causes. Eventually, the sickness usually passes and they, return intact to their own realm.
The clerics and worshipers, therefore, of the gods must be viewed as those who have found power or privilege, not piety (per se). Those who are truly pious, of course, will by divine intervention be brought to a better place in the afterlife (it is generally admitted). The fate of souls might be enough to arouse some divine interest, but otherwise, the access of clerics and worshipers to the gods is more like a pattern of accidents. Just as human breath spits out vapor and other chemicals, the clerics have learned to harvest the divine breath and make useful its proffering. However, in places where, of course, the people abuse the god’s name or arouse his wrath, the god is more than capable of ‘holding his breath’.